Thursday, January 1, 2009

Groom's Tireless Search For 'Something Old' Gives His Bride New Joy

RJ Note: Sometimes a smile is just the perfect reflection into the past. Enjoy.

(ARA) - Lt. Greg Martin wanted to give his fiancee the storybook wedding of her dreams. But he had a slight problem. She was in California planning their big day while he was on the other side of the world, stationed in Iraq. Being so far away made it even more difficult for him to hear the disappointment in her voice when she told him she couldn’t find something she had her heart set on for their big day.

"Years ago, my fiancee Shannon saw this cake topper she really liked in a department store that she thought would be perfect for her wedding day," says Martin. "It’s called ‘Swept Away’, and after I proposed Shannon remembered it and said the name was so fitting because I swept her away."

Unfortunately, the manufacturer of the topper, Lenox China, had discontinued it. Martin’s fiancee and her mother searched numerous stores and even got into bidding wars online, but couldn’t find the treasured piece. Martin started his own Internet search which led him to Replacements, Ltd., touted as the world’s largest supplier of old and new china, silver, crystal and collectibles. Unfortunately, Replacements had sold out of the cake topper as well. Little did a disappointed Martin know, his search had far from ended.

"My entire team was so touched by Greg’s story, how he was away serving our country and wanted so much to surprise his fiancee that we made it our mission to find that cake topper," says Martha Newman, Internet services manager for Replacements, Ltd.

Replacements has long helped those like Martin looking for patterns that are no longer in production. In fact, the company’s bridal registry offers hope to those brides looking to complete heirloom patterns lovingly passed down as wedding gifts from generation to generation.

"Even though we sell active patterns, nearly 79 percent of our bridal registry sales are generated from discontinued and heirloom patterns," says Donna Braswell-Bray, who oversees Replacements’ bridal program. "We’re one of the few places brides can turn to in finding patterns that are no longer being made, whether the manufacturer discontinued them last year or over a hundred years ago. In fact most manufacturers and department stores even refer customers to us for patterns they no longer carry."

What’s more, if a bride doesn’t know the pattern name or who made it, Replacements research department will help track down that information through the company’s free pattern identification service. Replacements receives up to 3,000 requests weekly from people looking to identify patterns they’ve inherited or whose name they simply can’t remember.

As for Martin’s dilemma, Replacements’ buying services team launched a nationwide search and finally found the highly sought after cake topper.

"Many of us were in tears, we were clapping and just so overwhelmed," says Newman. "We were so excited to let him know we were able to make this wish come true."

Replacements shipped the cake topper directly to Martin’s fiancee, and he called her so they could open it together over the phone. “I wish I could have been there to see her reaction and her big smile,” says Martin. "Needless to say Shannon was stunned and very excited to get the cake topper she wanted so much. I can’t believe they were able to help me find exactly what she wanted to make our wedding day perfect!"

To learn more about the company’s bridal registry and free pattern identification service, visit www.replacements.com.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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